The Ombudsperson can assist in resolving difficult issues by offering a range of services to the faculty, administrators and staff of Amherst College. The Ombudsperson can:
- Listen to your concerns without passing judgment; help you to clarify your thoughts, feelings and goals; and assist you in creating strategies for resolving problems/conflicts.
- Find Answers to your questions about policy and procedure or Refer you to someone who can.
- Identify and help Analyze Problems and Explore Options for addressing them.
- Informally Mediate disputes and Facilitate discussions between individuals or groups.
- Recommend the review of policies or procedures and track trends that may impact issues of equity and fairness.
- Identify harmful trends and suggest where the College may direct attention to address these problems or issues. Although the Ombudsperson has no direct authority to change College policy, the Ombudsperson is charged with the responsibility to Inform the President and senior leadership of issues and trends that may impact equity and fairness and suggest where administration may need to direct attention to address those issues. No personally identifying information is provided in these trend reports.
- Educate members of the community in ways to manage conflicts effectively, resolve disputes and help with team building within the community.
The power of the Office of the Ombudsperson rests in our ability to listen and inform; there are many things the Ombuds Office will not do:
- The Ombudsperson will Not Conduct Formal Investigations.
- The Ombudsperson will Not Make Policy.
- The Ombudsperson will Not Adjudicate, Arbitrate or Participate in Internal or External Formal Process (including legal process).
- The Ombudsperson will Not Breach Confidentiality even with consent. There are only very narrow exceptions to this which may include information about sexual respect and Title IX matters. Title IX policies and precedures are readily available on the College website.
- The Ombudsperson will Not Provide Legal Advice.